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Mr. District Attorney is a popular radio crime drama, produced by Samuel Bischoff, which aired on NBC and ABC from April 3, 1939 to June 13, 1952 (and in transcribed syndication through 1953). The series focused on a crusading D.A., initially known only as "Mister District Attorney," or "Chief", and was later translated to television. On television the D.A. had a name, Paul Garrett, and the radio version picked up this name in the final years when David Brian played the role. A key figure in the dramas was the D.A.'s secretary, Edith Miller (Vicki Vola).
Created, written, and directed by former law student Ed Byron, the series was inspired by the early years of New York governor Thomas E. Dewey. It was Dewey's public war against racketeering which led to his election as governor. Phillips H. Lord, creator of Gangbusters, helped to develop the concept and coined the title. Byron lent an air of accuracy and immediacy to his scripts through close study of crime statistics, a library of criminology texts, following the newspapers, and even going around rough bars to gain tips, background, and color from crooks and police alike. His techniques sometimes enabled Byron to predict major crime waves before the news broke.
Produced throughout its run in New York City, the series began as a fifteen minute serial, becoming a half hour, self-contained series three months later. During 1942, Mr. District Attorney began battling Nazis, leading to conflicts with the FBI when the scripts reflected life too closely.
Cast and characters:
Mr. District Attorney - The nameless title role was played by several actors throughout the run, with the breakdown as follows: Dwight Weist (1939 serials); Raymond Edward Johnson (1939 half hour shows); Jay Jostyn (1940 through 1952 - Jostyn also guest starred in the role in mystery sketches for the game show Quick as a Flash); David Brian (1952-1953 syndication).
Voice of the Law - The show's signature was the opening announcer, known as the "Voice of the Law," who defined the creed and duties of Mr. District Attorney. The role was played by Maurice Franklin and also Jay Jostyn, prior to taking over the lead role
Miss Miller - Edith Miller was the district attorney's faithful secretary, played throughout the run by Vicki Vola
Len Harrington - The D.A.'s chief investigator, a former cop; played by Walter Kinsella, who had been heard in various police roles during the early years, and by Len Doyle from 1940 onward.
Other supporting players and guests on the series includeded such noted actors as Paul Stewart and Frank Lovejoy.
OTRR Certification Information:Series Name: Mr. District Attorney
Certification Status: OTRR Certified Accurate
Certification Date: August 8, 2014
Certification Version: Version 1
Number of CDs: 3
From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
If you are interested in preserving old time radio, you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Yahoo.
This is the Single Episode Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.
Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to archive.org naming requirements.
Relax, listen, and enjoy!
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that is Certified Accurate indicates that all the episodes are properly identified and labeled but that the series does not contain all known extant episodes.
OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that is Certified Complete is the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implies that all the files in the series are Certified Accurate but also indicates that the series is as complete as possible – it includes all extant episodes.
Number 18, the Cinema story, is almost a duplicate on an Andy Griffith episode in the '60s. A bogus Hollywood producer comes to Mayberry to scout for a "real location with real people". Turns out, of course, he and his "crew" are bank robbers. No one got murdered in that version, 'tho.
May 22, 2019 Subject:
I like to give 5 stars, I either like it or I don't, which I wouldn't waste my time if I didn't like it. After all, it's just a opinion, right ? .
I think the DA has a good mix of players and supporting players and good guest stars. I would say all top hands. They know their craft. They go about it designed for the ear canal and not the eye gate. Much preferred now days. No modern stuff for me.
I will continue listening and revisit history along the way. Thanks
December 24, 2017 Subject:
I like this show
I was not sure when I started to listen to this show but I do really like how it goes. The only thing wrong is there aren't more shows of Mr D.A. Thanks so much for saving this one for us OTR fans.
December 12, 2016 Subject:
About Mr. District Attorney
The title is a bit corny, but title aside, it's a pretty good show. If you like detective type shows or cop shows, you'll like this one. You can even use your "Mr. Micrphone" and record it! Personally, I listen with headphones on my "Mr. Tablet."
October 12, 2016 Subject:
Tales of Texas Rangers
Some of these episodes are a copy of Tales of the Texas Rangers with a twist. The ranger is replaced by the D.A. and the local sheriif is the D.A.'s side kick. Pretty good quality show.